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Manager of Animal Wellbeing (Zoo Animal Behavior and Enrichment Supervisor)

Zoo Miami
Miami, United States Posted: May 20, 2024

Zoo Miami is currently seeking an exceptional individual to lead our animal wellbeing, enrichment and behavioral initiatives. This position reports directly to the Curator of Wellness and is responsible for conducting research, collecting data, and observing animals to provide critical analysis of animal management, facility design, and training and enrichment in an effort to ensure the highest possible levels of animal wellbeing.  We are searching for team-oriented candidates that will be approachable, engaging, and passionate in leading and developing the Zoo’s renewed focus on operant conditioning as well as helping in the development of animal care staff.

Responsibilities/duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Responsible for conducting or coordinating all aspects of animal wellbeing research, critical analysis, and volunteer involvement ensuring Zoo Miami is providing the best possible animal wellbeing for its animals and meets or exceeds all AZA and USDA standards. 
  • Works directly with Animal Care curators and keepers while consulting with the veterinary staff to prioritize and address all welfare needs. 
  • Assists in continuous goal setting and prioritization for animal wellbeing projects.
  • Creates an integrative animal wellbeing program that combines study and application to develop and maintain industry leading animal welfare, care, and husbandry; observes, analyzes, and critiques animal management practices, facility design and/or modification, enrichment and operant conditioning efforts.
  • Assists in developing and publishing an Animal Wellbeing Initiative that will become the fulcrum for developing and applying animal management practices at Zoo Miami.
  • Highly proficient in positive reinforcement operant conditioning theory, technique, and implementation with a wide range of species.
  • Assists in the design of fun, educational programs and activities that inform Zoo Miami’s guests of the level of care provided to the animals and the science and evidence-based management that is implemented to provide the best possible care to our animal residents.
  • Consults in the decision-making process involving animal health and behavior to provide a stimulating, healthy environment for the entire collection within the parameters set by the Chief of Animal Science, the veterinary team, and the Zoo Nutritionist.
  • Be an integral member in developing a welfare-focused end of life decision-making process and implementing this process when appropriate.
  • Responsible for effective communications with Animal Care curators and keepers as well as the veterinary and nutrition staff.
  • Trains, coaches, mentors, and assesses area staff as it pertains to animal wellbeing; provides ongoing, on the job training for zookeepers by providing written and oral constructive criticism and positive feedback to zookeepers in the management of the animals at Zoo Miami.
  • The successful candidate will have the ability to manage multiple and complex responsibilities at the same time; be timely and reliable in attendance and performance; and have the ability to work well with all levels of staff, volunteers, vendors and guests.
Experience Required
  • Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in Animal Behavior, Zoology, Biology or a related field.
  • Three years of animal training experience in a zoological setting or related industry is required.
  • Additional education may substitute for the required experience.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Advanced degree in animal welfare or a related field and five years of experience training and caring for a wide range of species is highly preferred.
Further Comments
  • Now is a great time to join our family and be a part of Zoo Miami’s dynamic future as we strive to “To Inspire people through engaging experiences to preserve nature in South Florida and across the globe”.
  • Zoo Miami is focused on five key commitments: Conservation, Our Team, Our Animals, Our Guests, and Our Community through our core values of Welcoming, Caring, Fun, Collaborative and Dedicated.
  • Zoo Miami is proud to be active in many global wildlife and environmental conservation initiatives and is involved in over 36 projects taking place on six continents.
  • The largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida, Zoo Miami is the only tropical zoo in the continental United States, occupying almost 750 acres (340 developed), the Zoo is home to approximately 2,500 animals representing nearly 400 different species.
  • This is a full-time position with excellent benefits as an employee of Miami-Dade County.

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